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Gossip


Published 1953


Quirky social guidance film on the negative effects of gossip. (from PA-2323)


Run time 10:05
Producer Davis (Sid) Productions
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, C


Shotlist

Points out that gossip reflects the lack of respect for words. Describes the harm which gossip can do.
Ken Smith notes: Despite its potential for gloom and doom this is a surprisingly upbeat film, at least for a Sid Davis production. It tells the story of Jean Gage, a "wonderful girl" whose life is nearly destroyed by "malicious gossip." Jack Monroe, "the most popular boy in school" (and Marion High's "resident Casanova") takes Jean out on a date (they see Jungle Girl) and then insists on a little good night smooch in his convertible. Jack was "confident that no girl could resist him," the narrator informs us. "His popularity had gone to his head." Jean gives Jack a well-deserved slap and storms off, wounding Jack's manly pride. "He'd have to get even," the narrator tells us, matter-of-factly.
The next morning, Jack begins spreading wild tales of his romantic evening with Jean. Marion High's indigenous gossips latch on to the juicy news and spread it around. "By the end of the day, the deed was done," the narrator intones. "Jean's reputation was ruined." (why everyone so readily believes "Casanova" Jack instead of "wonderful" Jean is not explained.)
Blissfully ignorant, Jean is unaware that her world is crumbling until she is "blackballed" by the Girls Club. "They didn't want her kind of girl in their club," the narrator explains. Jean is in tears by this point, but Sid Davis doesn't punish her any more because she isn't at fault. She tells her school principal her story, the principal forces Jack to tell the truth, and -- just as quickly as everyone condemned Jean -- everyone instantly loves her again.
Marion High must have been a very weird place to go to school.
Some under-cranked cinematography of girls gossiping. Watch for the signature Sid Davis screaming newspaper headline; in this film it's Dust Of Death H-Bomb Hinted.

parrot; Closeups of people's mouth's talking directly to someone's ears. Other closeups of talking. Girl crying on her bed. Statue of 3 monkeys: hear no evil, so no evil, speak no evil. Then pictures of teenagers in the same poses.

<BR>

Reviews

Reviewer: JSBejma - - December 29, 2014
Subject: Leaves Me Wondering...

Just what did that sleazy dude tell his buddies? Maybe just a clue? Please? Sid, you left us all up in the air.

Sid could have just as well added this episode to "Girls Beware." That film went through my mind when those chicks piled into that scumbag's car. Gossip nothing. Jean just should have said "No thanks." But no, she didn't. Then the sucker (knowing no better) dates the horny pig. Heck, for all intents and purposes the girl WAS verbally raped. Typical California kids in the 50's, btw.
Reviewer: ERD - - February 28, 2012
Subject: Worse than sticks and stones...
This 1953 film shows the negative results of gossip in a high school. Made for youngsters,
a lot of what is shown still holds true. However, the way the situations are presented may somewhat be too simplistic for today's generation.
Reviewer: Brown Velvet Cinema - - January 23, 2010
Subject: gr8 film
This is a wonderful little film that still resonates today. It told with compassion and heart. I really enjoyed watching - thanks
Reviewer: Vianne - - May 7, 2008
Subject: Of the two 50s gossip films......
This was the better of the two teen gossip films from the 50s. It wasn't overdramatic and made me feel bad for Jean being the victim of such viciousness by the student body. At least the principal was willing to nip this thing in the bud, which today very few would be so willing for the sake of one student.
Reviewer: autoguy - - November 20, 2005
Subject: Bird Or Primate?
Odd film equating the minds of an entire high school student body to those of birds and primates. It soon becomes clear this comparison is indeed accurate. One deviant young man, who is clearly deceptive and egotistical, finds that a simple statement can easily gain him the power and control he desires. He knows the school is populated by nothing more than mindless drones who are incapable of thinking independantly. As he predicted, the ignorant group mindlessly bands together to carry out vicious attacks on the victim, never stopping to question any information they receive. Incredibly far ahead of it's time, and accurate to this day. This film leaves one curious question unanswered. Why was this particular victim being attacked? Her parents do not own a gas station and she harbors no petroleum resources.
Reviewer: Marysz - - June 20, 2004
Subject: Gossip Tragedy Averted
George Eastmore, principal of Marion High, narrates this film about a girl whose reputation is ruined by a boy whose advances she rejected. The film starts with a montage of post WWII and Cold War images, including a newspaper with the intriguing headline, ÃÂDust of Death, H-Bomb Hinted.ÃÂ Gossip can have deadly consequences. Jack Monroe, school dreamboat and owner of a convertible, asks new student Jean Gage out on a date. When he tries to neck with her, she pushes him away and slaps him. Jack retaliates by spreading rumors about Jean. Janice, a fellow student who was jealous of Jean, fans the flames. Finally, unhappy Jean decides to drop out of school. Unlike most of the other kids in Sid Davis films, Jean actually has parents who actively care for her. They tell Mr. Eastmore about JeanÃÂs predicament.

His gaudy taste in ties notwithstanding, Mr. Eastmore is a good principal. He calls Jack into his office and makes him apologize to Jean and rescue her reputation. Bill is surprised to learn that he was a gossip. ÃÂHe thought only women gossiped. Men just . . . well, talked.ÃÂ If there were more adults like JeanÃÂs parents and more principals like Mr. Eastmore, the cinematic world of Sid Davis would be a much safer place for children and teenagers.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - September 20, 2003
Subject: Sticks and stones...
Wait a sec... boys lie about what happens on dates? I'm shocked. The Principal getting the boy to explain to his friends it was a lie?!? Now I'm really shocked!! Fabulous color.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - July 2, 2003
Subject: Oh the horrors of high school!
In this beautiful looking Sid Davis film (I wonder if Sid Davis is beautiful looking?) We join a parent principal conference in progress. Jean (who, oddly enough, is the name of the gossip-catcher in Centron's 'The Gossip") has to quit school. Why? She's the victim of nasty rumors that she "parks in cars with boys" (as the Coronet film "Are You Popular?" would put it). We then see the horrid details of how this all took place. You see, Jean was the victim of a boy who's tried to make the move on her, HUMILIATED by this, he makes up a story about her, which naturally travels like wildfire. We then cut back to the conference room, and the principal says to hold off on it. The principal then talks to the guy who made up the rumor and says to tell the truth to all the students he told it to, which he obliges. Yeah RIGHT. May be true in the 50's, but I imagine would be dealt with today by telling Jean to deal with it herself. Highly reccomended, just by the looks of the film itself.
Reviewer: Wilford B. Wolf - - June 22, 2003
Subject: "The first white child in the county to be blackballed by the Elks"
Taking a cue from a rather unlikely source, the War World II gossip films, this film talks about the dangers of gossip. The main similie is drawn between the gossip and a parrot. But the overtones are very Cold War in nature. And since, this is 1953, the content of the gossip is never discussed. The resolution to the film, with the principle giving a stern talking to the student body seems simplistic.

All in all, a film that sets a better scene than actually provides solutions.
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